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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:37 PM   #1
Ishamael
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NYS: Upstate vs. Downstate Resources

This came up in the Rochester Development Thread, and I wanted to start a new thread on it to keep the development thread clean.

Anyhow. I tried looking at the Center for Government Research (CGR) website and I can't find the information on how state resources are allocated. I'm arguing that upstate gets less than downstate in the way funds are allocated but many people seem to feel it's actually the other way around. Anyone have any data?

Until I've got more to work with, I'm going to continue to feel the state rapes upstate. The casino's upstate are designed to funnel money to Albany, the power project funnels money to Albany and forces rate increases upstate to offset downstate costs, the Universities that were built by the state now will charge more money than they will recieve back in state funding....so all those Universities now will funnel money to Albany. The state continually finds new ways to pull resources out of the area, even by mistake...

Why does NYC recieve 1.2 billion out of 1.3 billion in mass transit stimulus money? In the last 3 years, if you include federal newstarts funds, NYC has recieved 2.4 BILLION in federal aid just to build NEW LINES in it's subway system. Buffalo can't even expand it's subway to Amherst for 600 million (and that would pay for the WHOLE expansion, forget any matching money).

I dunno...I know I'm just throwing out random crap...that's why I'm hoping someone can point me to the data on this. Until I see something concrete I'm going to feel like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse are getting hosed....

I guess what I'm saying is this...even if upstate gets more than it pays from the state...federal dollars and 'dirty tricks' like what I've listed above more than make up for the difference as far as I'm concerned. I'm just looking for more ideas on this...

Sorry about the poor grammar and somewhat of a rant post....I'm just feeling a bit frustrated by the whole process....
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 03:07 AM   #2
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When you consider that NYC alone has 8.2 million people and NYS as a whole has 19.5 million, NYC accounts for nearly half the state's population. So with a large portion of the state's population, the city by itself carries half the influence in state government.

Now, when you include the entire MSA (NYC-N. NJ-LI), the population number comes up to 18.8 million! I think it's even more important to look at the MSA, because there are many people who may live in other nearby states, or at the very least, live outside NYC's city limits, but who derive their livelihoods from jobs and/or businesses in NYC, and thus rely upon its infrastructiure and transportation system.

Because of the population of the NYC MSA, the city has an even larger constituency which is represented within the federal government. It may not be a larger proportion of representation in the federal government compared to its influence in Albany, but it is certainly the biggest in overall size (LA's MSA is 12.8 million, versus NYC's 18.8 million).

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Old February 23rd, 2009, 03:18 AM   #3
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Ismael, here's an article about the CGR study on upstate-downstate.

DOWNSTATE 'S TAKE GETS DOWNSIZED IN BUDGET - STUDY SHOWS UPSTATE AREAS RECEIVE MUCH MORE STATE MONEY THAN THEY CONTRIBUTE.
Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY) - Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Author: Erik Kriss Albany bureau

Upstate gets more from the state budget than it gives, while Downstate gives more than it gets.

And that's more true than it was five years ago, according to an organization that studies state government.

The Center for Governmental Research, in a follow-up report to a 1999 study, says the gap has widened between Upstate and Downstate when it comes to who gives and who gets.

The Rochester-based, non-profit research and management consulting organization says the payment deficit for New York City is anywhere from nearly $7 billion to $11 billion , depending on how you figure it.

If state revenues are traced back to where taxpayers live, the city's deficit is nearly $7 billion . If they are traced to where people work, the city's deficit jumps another $4 billion .

Upstate metropolitan areas get nearly $4 billion more than they give. Rural New York gets more than $2 billion more than it contributes. The state budget is around $100 billion .

The Capital Region was not included in the Upstate numbers. Its numbers are skewed because of the unusually large share of revenues it receives to run the state government.

The 1999 report looked at data through March 31, 1996. The updated report - commissioned by the New York City Office of Management & Budget, the Long Island Association and the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO - looked at data through March 31, 2001.

"Given the Downstate economy was expanding through that (late 1990s) period and the Upstate economy was languishing, what was true in'95-96 is more true in 2000-01," said Kent Gardner, the center's director of economic analysis.

"The (New York) City in particular, with the Wall Street boom, has become more and more of a significant net contributor" to the state budget.

Gardner acknowledged that the stock market decline that began in late 2000 probably means New York City isn't contributing quite as much now in relation to what it receives.

David Cordeau, president of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, said the latest report is no surprise. But he said there's more to the Upstate - Downstate dynamic than simply who gets what from the state budget.

He argued that the benefits Upstate gets from the budget largely go to support state institutions, such as public universities and prisons.

"That's only a small component of our total economy," he said.

He said the Upstate - Downstate dynamic goes beyond simple funding comparisons. Politicians across the state often bow to Downstate political demands, resisting changes that could help Upstate , he said. He cited the 2002 approval of a health financing plan that boosted Medicaid spending. The plan was pushed by Service Employees International Union 1199, the powerful Downstate health care workers union.

"We have to pay for all of the costs imposed upon us here," Cordeau said. "Policies that may make sense for Downstate don't make sense for Upstate ."

But Marcia Van Wagner, chief economist for the Citizens Budget Commission, a business-backed New York City think tank, said the picture is more complicated than that.

She noted that although many Upstate communities complain about the cost of Medicaid, New York is one of the few states that requires localities to help pay for it. She said that decision resulted from pressure by Upstate politicians in the 1960s to make sure their communities weren't paying to care for New York City's poor.

"On balance, it's a very tangled ball," she said. "You've got to look at the big picture."

Van Wagner praised the center's report.

"I think it's very carefully researched...," she said. "They're very thorough."
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ishamael View Post
Why does NYC recieve 1.2 billion out of 1.3 billion in mass transit stimulus money? In the last 3 years, if you include federal newstarts funds, NYC has recieved 2.4 BILLION in federal aid just to build NEW LINES in it's subway system. Buffalo can't even expand it's subway to Amherst for 600 million (and that would pay for the WHOLE expansion, forget any matching money).
Your frustration about upstate NY stagnation is understandable, I share your concerns, but it's not NYC's fault.

Keep in mind that the 6 miles of subway that Buffalo got in the 1970s/80s comprised a very significant chunk of ALL the recent subway construction in NY State. NYC has had very little subway expansion since 1950, its just starting get some extension money. Really, $2.4 billion adds VERY little to NYC's subway.

Of the roughly $700 million of cost ($1.5 billion if not more in today's $$) of the Buffalo light rail, Buffalo only chipped about $25 million, mostly for that downtown mall, two-thirds came from the Feds & nearly all the rest from NY State (mostly of course from downstate).

In NYC, most people ride transit, in Buffalo they drive. Add to that that NYC alone grew by a million people in the 1990s alone, while the whole Buffalo area has been losing population since the 1970s.

That's why NYC's transit is jammed packed, while Buffalo has a lot of empty transit seats. At the Federal level, with all the competition for funding from growing places, its almost impossible to make a case for adding rail transit in shrinking areas. A good starting point for Buffalo would be more frequent bus service.

It just makes common sense that the growing areas get the most funding, for transit or other services. Sure, I'd love to see Buffalo & upstate grow too. But the only way that's going to happen though is taking a page from NYC & downstate & attracting a much larger share of the immigrant inflow.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:41 AM   #5
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Let's not mix and match statistics. The original post listed federal transportation funds. The responses listed state budget allocations. The fact that Buffalo is not receiving a better share of federal transportation funds is separate from the state budget. And yes, NYC will always receive more of those kinds of funds due to both it's size and it's dependence on mass transit.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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In a [more] perfect world, two regions such as NYC and Upstate would not be shackled together under the same administration. It amounts to gerrymandering of government. But of course nobody really wants things to change because things work so well as they are now (look at the stink people raise when you try to dissolve their [tribal] villages, and downstate (and NYC in particular) dominated Albany sure doesn't want to let go of the status quo because they have it made. Meanwhile, Upstate has to foot the bill for programs unsuited for it, considering most of downstate seems to be perfectly willing to have (and have everybody pay for) a nanny government where a state employee comes to their house to wipe their a-- every time they take a sh-t. These sorts of programs don't work in lesser concentrations of population. Of course little do they know, NYC as a city of its size and caliber has been pretty darn stunted in growth and development compared to just about every similar city across the globe. Coincidence? I think not.

Any "One New York" policy of ANY sort is doomed to failure upon conception.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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They count only "shove-ready" projects for now, right? Maybe that's why. The Second Avenue Subway would be in this kind of criteria as they've started, while a light extension to Amherst (to UB North Campus, I presume) has not gone off the ground, I'm sure.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #8
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Upstate has to receive more per capita than NYC because we're forced to live with the repercussions of every NYC-conceived public policy. If Upstate, or even better, Western & Central NYS were its own state, it would be much better off in the long run because it would be able to chart its own course. Until then, let's enjoy all that NYS government largesse.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 03:31 AM   #9
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Bayviews: I agree with you on attempting to attract more immigrants...but how does upstate do that? Like...what did Utica do that Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo did not to attact all those people?

On Mass Transit: I know it's not the best source for information but here comes a wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_by_ridership

According to that list, only Houston and Boston have more people riding per mile, so I don't see a lack of interest. The CRTC (a group that promotes metro-expansion in Buffalo) has cited US Census data that says 1/3 of the city residents don't have cars...so the people are there. It's just hard to get to a line that pretty much goes to nothing. Expanding it to Amherst would be a freaking hit simply because of the students hopping it to get downtown. I wouldn't object to some kind of Bus Rapid Transit in conjunction with a rail expansion, but to do that we need some equity in funding. I simply don't see it right now. To get to Amherst, we would need what, 6 miles and about 600 million dollars?

How about we take the $25 dollar a week bonus going to the unemployed in NYS due to the stimulus bill. Lets see: 650,000 unemployed * $100 a month....They can collect the extra money in November if the federal stimulus program for the unemployed is still in place. There I just paid for it...and gave some people their jobs back by building a subway system.


Representation in Albany: We have none. All the more reason to explore secession. If Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse were a state we'd have high speed rail between us by now, lower taxes, we could use the Niagara Power project as we see fit, we could change about 10 billion freaking laws designed for NYC into stuff that works for us and we'd have our own senators and congressmen to lobby for federal money, which seems to be flowing pretty damn freely these days.

Ok...getting off the box...it's someone elses turn....
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Old February 24th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #10
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as long as upstate continues to use NYC as its scapegoat, it will remain in the same shitty situation its always been. the local politicians are just as, if not more, self destructive than albany.

those "immigrants" in utica were actually refugees from bosnia and while utica did benefit from them; they were not drawn there for any other reason for than utica was better than sarajevo at the time. i think as time goes on, children of the bosnians that moved to utica in the 90's will follow the local trend of moving away after high school if they seek higher ambitions.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 05:38 AM   #11
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According to that list, only Houston and Boston have more people riding per mile, so I don't see a lack of interest. The CRTC (a group that promotes metro-expansion in Buffalo) has cited US Census data that says 1/3 of the city residents don't have cars...so the people are there. It's just hard to get to a line that pretty much goes to nothing. Expanding it to Amherst would be a freaking hit simply because of the students hopping it to get downtown. I wouldn't object to some kind of Bus Rapid Transit in conjunction with a rail expansion, but to do that we need some equity in funding. I simply don't see it right now. To get to Amherst, we would need what, 6 miles and about 600 million dollars? ...
Ismael, I too was real excited about Buffalo's subway when it was first proposed, I was a big supporter of it!

Sadly though, during the planning process the technology was downgraded from heavy to light rail, the downtown section was changed from subway to surface, a big mistake, & the alignment was shorted to end at the the UB South Campus rather than to the new UB Amherst campus. (Although moving the campus to Amherst was a HUGE mistake, I was a big supporter of keeping UB in the city).

Even so, yes, the current line does compare favorably with other light rail lines in per capita ridership. Although it hasn't grown or matched the original estimates. Largely as Buffalo has failed to capitalize on the opportunities for high-density transit-oriented development on Main St. along the subway portion. I hate when its dismissed as "the subway from nowhere to nowhere" when it has the potential to connect vital activity centers.

I too would love to see the rail extended to Amherst, that would add a lot of ridership from UB students (a relatively captive market) & helped reconnect UB with the city. That being the case, the NFTA hasn't done much in the way of preliminary enginnering or environnmental studies. Or working to build support in Amherst, which would be essential for making it it happen. Nor, is it anywhere on the Federal New Starts list, which is a must.

Yeah, the Obama administration is looking for shovel ready projects. NYC's Second Ave subway has been thru what seems like a zillion years of planning & studying, so their long overdue for funding.

$600 million seems a reasonable estimate for extending the line to Amherst, so then the issue is where's the funding going to come from. The Feds like to see at least a 50% match, from local & state. Given that neither Buffalo nor Amherst nor Erie County is likely to have much of $300 million for local match...Again, your dependent primarily on NY State, including what SUNY might contribute.

Ismeal, glad your pushing with your committee on extending the light rail to Amherst, keep up the good work. It's not going to happen this year or next. But if you keep pushing & get Buffalo, Amherst & UB on board, I think it can happen, long-term, I'd love to see it!
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Old February 24th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #12
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as long as upstate continues to use NYC as its scapegoat, it will remain in the same shitty situation its always been. the local politicians are just as, if not more, self destructive than albany.

I Agree.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:22 AM   #13
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Bayviews: I agree with you on attempting to attract more immigrants...but how does upstate do that? Like...what did Utica do that Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo did not to attact all those people?..
Here's some good ideas on attracting immigrants from Robert Ward, who's been active in think tanks that have worked to revitalize upstate, demographically & economically. If I were a place like Buffalo, I'd focus on taping into the major existing immigrant flows coming into NYC & Chicago & many smaller cities.

IMMIGRANTS COULD BRING NEW VITALITY TO REGION
Buffalo News, The (NY) - Sunday, July 8, 2001
Author: ROBERT B. WARD - Special to The News

The 1990s were not kind to the Buffalo Niagara region. Recent reports from the U.S. Census Bureau gave us bad news, and then worse: Buffalo's population dropped by more than 10 percent, and the number of young adults in the region fell even more sharply, by almost a quarter.

Cities throughout the Northeast face similarly sobering stories. Across upstate New York, 44 of 53 cities lost population from 1990 to 2000; the trend also appears in Connecticut, Ohio and other states. Urban centers sometimes seem trapped in a downward spiral of shrinking population and reduced property values, making it hard to sustain services without higher taxes.

What creative steps can Buffalo and other cities take to turn things around? One idea: Learn from Utica.

The Mohawk Valley city is similar to many others in the Northeast in that its population has fallen sharply in recent decades, and entire neighborhoods are dying. Citizens in Utica are working to change that by inviting immigrants to move in -- and bring their talents, work ethic and entrepreneurial skills with them.

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees resettled an average of 700 refugees annually during the 1990s, mostly from Bosnia in recent years. Families who led solidly middle-class lives in Eastern Europe and elsewhere have moved to the area. They find jobs, pay taxes, stabilize neighborhoods and in general make the city a better place.

Utica's efforts are more extensive than those elsewhere, although other large upstate cities also have organizations that help refugees and other immigrants relocate. ("Refugee" is a specific classification under U.S. immigration law that entitles individuals who are fleeing persecution to federally funded support for a time.)

The International Institute of Buffalo helps 180 refugees resettle in a typical year by providing English instruction, help in finding homes and jobs, and other essential services. It also assists non-refugee immigrants to become productive members of American society, serving several thousand clients annually.

As Buffalo and other cities confront long-term decline, local leaders should consider doing more to attract immigrants . If Erie County had been able to bring in proportionately as many new Americans as Oneida County did during the 1990s, it could have turned its population loss of more than 18,000 into a small gain.

Welcoming refugees involves some modest up-front costs to the community, and any major effort would require support from local elected leaders. Refugees are eligible for Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, for which counties bear part of the cost. Typically, though, these local costs end within a year or two as individuals find jobs.

But in the long run, resettlement of refugees is a net fiscal benefit to local governments, the study found. Meanwhile, families help boost local housing markets and add to the overall vitality of the city. Business leaders in the Utica area enthusiastically welcome the Bosnians as valuable additions to the labor pool. The superintendent of the city schools said, "These people will be part of our rebirth."

Western New York leaders could also seek to attract established immigrants who have already moved to places such as Queens or Brooklyn. Many immigrant families in the downstate metropolitan area might welcome the move to a less expensive, safer home upstate. Here, they could bring new life to neighborhoods that once rang with Irish, Italian and German conversations but now are often silent.

Revitalizing our cities with new residents from overseas will be easier if more jobs are available in urban areas. Manufacturing jobs, in particular, are among those for which immigrants qualify most readily. Cutting taxes for manufacturers and making it possible for new businesses to redevelop "brownfield" industrial sites are among the priorities for meeting this goal.

The Empire Zones created by the State Legislature represent a major new tool in the competition for business and jobs -- which is why Gov. Pataki is now trying to double their size. Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello and other leaders are addressing other key steps: working to improve educational opportunities, redeveloping downtowns and otherwise seeking to improve the quality of life for families and individuals.

One hundred years ago, Buffalo was tingling with excitement over the just-opened Pan-American Exposition. The expo was, in large part, the work of a German immigrant , Jacob Schoellkopf. His other contributions to the area were even greater. As the first to generate large amounts of electricity from the Niagara River, Schoellkopf helped make possible the steel, chemical and other industries that brought this area to its greatest heights and still contribute to the region's strength.

The next Schoellkopf might be a new American from Bosnia, Afghanistan or Somalia. We need to make a place for her or him in the Buffalo Niagara region.

ROBERT B. WARD is director of research for the Public Policy Institute, a business-supported think tank based in Albany.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #14
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Representation in Albany: We have none. All the more reason to explore secession.
Bingo!

Our nation fought for secession some 233 years ago for this same exact reason. I say we dump some tea into the Erie Canal Harbor (or maybe Labatt's can donate some beer) and then get the ball rolling.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:35 AM   #15
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Study: Young immigrants help Mohawk Valley's economy
Observer-Dispatch (Utica, NY) - Monday, February 4, 2008
Author: CHINKI SINHA, Observer-Dispatch

UTICA - Young immigrants and refugees are filling crucial gaps in the area's work force and housing market as the native population ages, according to a new study by the University at Buffalo's Regional Institute.

From 2003 through 2006, 28 percent of people obtaining legal permanent residency in upstate 's largest metro areas - Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo - were younger than 18, compared to 22 percent statewide and 20 percent nationwide, the study said.

UPSTATE IMMIGRANTS In Utica, Bosnians are the single-largest group of immigrants , followed by Ukrainians and Burmese.

Based on the 2003 to 2006 data, only 12 percent of the total immigrant population nationwide was composed of refugees, compared to 67 percent in Utica. In New York state, the number was 10 percent.

About 32 percent of the immigrants here are younger than 18 years. Only 7 percent of the group is older than 55 years.

Even though, upstate 's foreign-born concentrations have continued to decline, falling behind the U.S. average in 1990, a large influx of refugees in Utica pushed the city's foreign-born population past national levels.

Source: The Regional Institute, University at Buffalo RELATED CONTENT > Comment on this issue

In these five upstate metro areas, immigrants played a key role in economic growth, according to the study.

"While upstate immigrants differ substantially from downstate and national immigration trends - in number, origin, and reason for entry - they are playing a larger role in the lives of upstate communities than they have in decades," according to the study. "Filling critical gaps in urban neighborhoods and key economic sectors, and contributing to the region's global outlook, their importance to the region will likely grow as the native population ages."

In the Utica area, 64 percent of all immigrants are younger than 34, which offsets the aging work force and will fill in key employment gaps, the study said.

For city Mayor David Roefaro, the region's refugees are a vital force on the economy, and their contribution must not be ignored.

"They are very hard working," he said. "All they want is respect. They want a chance to prove themselves."

Refugees, who constitute about 67 percent of the total immigrant population in Utica, have helped stabilize city neighborhoods and taken up jobs at various manufacturing companies or in the retail sector.

"As nurses, medical doctors, university faculty, high-tech workers, service-sector employees, and many other positions, immigrants currently fill and will increasingly fill key economic gaps," according to the study. "While filling these gaps, they also lend regions the diversity and globalmindedness that is advantageous in a global economy."

In an area that suffered a population decline in the last quarter of the 1900s, refugees who began coming to Utica in 1979 have been a revitalizing force. A lot of them bought old houses and fixed them up.

"They have taken over those, and look at the beautification," Roefaro said about the houses.

Four years ago, Emina Bajric bought a house on Eagle Street for about $39,000. Over the years, she worked hard on it.

"It was an old house," she said. "But I like it."

Now Bjaric, who came to United States eight years ago, plans to stay in Utica for good and hopes her three children also will settle here.

Her children - Haris, Adis and Mirela - attend classes at Mohawk Valley Community College and in the Utica City School District.

Haris, 19, also works part time at Hannaford Supermarkets, she said.

"It was hard life in Bosnia," she said. "We are happy here."
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Old March 4th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #16
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Four years ago, Emina Bajric bought a house on Eagle Street for about $39,000. Over the years, she worked hard on it.

"It was an old house," she said. "But I like it."

Now Bjaric, who came to United States eight years ago, plans to stay in Utica for good and hopes her three children also will settle here.

Her children - Haris, Adis and Mirela - attend classes at Mohawk Valley Community College and in the Utica City School District.

Haris, 19, also works part time at Hannaford Supermarkets, she said.

"It was hard life in Bosnia," she said. "We are happy here."
if her kids want to do something other than work at hannaford's, they might have to leave the area as there's just nothing there as far as jobs are. though they could still end up being close by; syracuse, rochester, albany, etc...
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Old March 4th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #17
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if her kids want to do something other than work at hannaford's, they might have to leave the area as there's just nothing there as far as jobs are. though they could still end up being close by; syracuse, rochester, albany, etc...
More likely California, Nevada, or Texas.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #18
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Times are tough all over. And don't count on the economy bouncing back overnight.
But Utica seems to be holding its own.


Housing values in Utica grow
Observer-Dispatch ( Utica , NY) - Friday, December 19, 2008
Author: BRYON ACKERMAN, Observer-Dispatch

As home prices plummeted nationwide this year, housing values in Utica actually grew.

In fact, the city's median housing value increase - about 7.6 percent - was the largest in the state, according to a recent story on BusinessWeek.com.

Many larger cities saw greater increases in housing values a few years ago, but many of those cities have seen their values nose-dive this year. Utica , however, never had the boom, so it's been safe from the bust, experts said.

The city has seen a gradual climb during the past several years, said Katie Curnutte, a spokeswoman for zillow.com who provided information for the BusinessWeek.com story.

"Overall, areas where they didn't skyrocket in 2005 and 2006, didn't crash now," Curnutte said.

For towns and cities with populations greater than 25,000 people in 37 states, BusinessWeek.com listed the locations with the best and worst housing markets this year.

Of the cities that were listed as best in their states, Utica had the lowest median housing value: $91,539. Others reached above $1 million.

Housing values for the Utica -Rome metropolitan area increased by 1.9 percent this year, and the national average is a loss of 9.7 percent versus a year ago, according to zillow.com. For the past 10 years, however, the national average is a growth of 6.1 percent, and the growth for the Utica -Rome area is 5.4 percent.

"A good thing'

In the BusinessWeek.com story, other reasons are cited as to why Utica 's housing market has increased. Bosnian refugees - who make up about 10 percent of the city's population - and other newcomers have boosted the housing market, according to the story.

Karen Novak, a broker associate for Faith Properties Coldwell Banker at 2306 Genesee St. in Utica , said she has seen that Bosnians and other immigrants and refugees have played a role in improving the housing market in Utica .

Novak said she also has seen an increase in the number of people in their mid-20s to mid-30s purchasing homes in the area - a major change from the usual drain of young people.

"They're settling in," she said. "And that's just so refreshing to see."

Novak said sales at the business increased each year from 2000 until 2005 then dropped each year since. This year, sales are on pace to increase versus last year, she said.

Utica Mayor David Roefaro said there are many reasons why people like living in the city: The four seasons of weather add to the quality of life, and so does the steadiness of the housing values, he said.

"We don't experience the highs and lows of the rest of the nation," Roefaro said. "And that's kind of a good thing."

No "mountains and valleys'

Utica Assessor David Williams said there are many ways to track housing values. His records show that the median sale of a single-family home in the city one year ago was $81,000, and this year should end with a similar average.

"This area has a history of being very resilient in tough times," he said. "We don't have the same mountains and valleys that other markets seem to have."

Prashant Gopal, the real estate reporter for BusinessWeek.com who wrote the story about housing values, said he was surprised by what his research uncovered.

"It's not really what I expected," he said. "I had an idea of Utica as being not quite down and out, but not a place where housing prices would be rising."

Houses in Utica are affordable, and it's a place where people are buying homes to live in them, Gopal said.

Because Utica isn't a place where people typically are buying the houses to make quick profits off of them, housing values in the city have been able to overcome the loss of jobs and population, Gopal said.

" Utica seems to be sort of set up well for the recession," he said. "It didn't have the huge ups or the huge downs."
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Old March 5th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #19
homestar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Times are tough all over. And don't count on the economy bouncing back overnight. But Utica seems to be holding its own.

Housing values in Utica grow
Housing values are not the problem.
Most of Upstate/Central/Western NY are doing just fine in regards to housing values compared with the rest of the nation.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #20
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The "problem" with housing values and using that as an economic indicator is that people don't view them as a place to be lived in. In case anyone has been living in a cave for the last 2 years, it's that philosophy of greed that is most to blame for our current plight.

Zillow.com says my house is worth what amounts to 14% more than it was worth less then a year ago when I bought it. Personally I don't take any stock in that, but I'm not intending on moving just yet so I really don't care what it does in the interim.
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